Report shows Shackleford Banks herd is healthy and thriving
A new report from the National Park Service shows on of the herds of Colonial Spanish Mustangs that live wild along the North Carolina coast is healthy and thriving.
Officials say the target management number for the Shackleford Banks herd at Cape Lookout National Seashore is in a range of 120 to 130 horses and at the end of last year there were 124 horses on Shackleford Banks.
Officials say thirteen foals were born in 2022; however, one was removed illegally and turned over to the Foundation for Shackleford Horses and could not be returned to the herd. The people involved were charged and their court date is pending.
Nine horses, or about 7 percent of the herd, died last year and officials say that is slightly above the 6% average mortality from 1999 through 2021.
The oldest horse living on the island is a 28-year-old mare who has three generations of descendants.